Take-Two profit, revenue drop but beat forecasts

By Malathi Nayak

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software's profit and revenue fell less than expected in the fourth quarter and it forecast fiscal 2015 earnings in line with Wall Street's estimates on Tuesday.

Shares in Take-Two fell about 3 percent in after-hours trading after closing at $20.63 on Nasdaq.

For fiscal 2015, the company estimated non-GAAP revenue of $1.35 billion to $1.45 billion and non-GAAP net income of 80 cents to $1.05 per share. That was in line with analysts' estimate of $1.39 in revenue and profit of $1.04 per share.

"That's strong profitability without a 'Grand Theft Auto' release" in fiscal 2015, Take-Two Chief Executive Strauss Zellnick said in an interview. "In the last seven quarters we've beaten our guidance."

New York City-based Take-Two said revenue declined 23 percent in the quarter ended March 31, beating Wall Street expectations, on sales of "Grand Theft Auto V" and "NBA 2K14."

The company, which also publishes "BioShock Infinite," said non-GAAP net revenue fell to $233.2 million from $303.1 million in the year-ago quarter. That surpassed the $202.51 million average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the fourth quarter, non-GAAP net profit was $21.5 million, or 21 cents per share, sharply below $42.9 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier. This beat Wall Street's expectations of earnings of 10 cents per share.

Take-Two's pipeline for fiscal 2015 includes sci-fi shooter "Evolve" and the next installment from its hit basketball game franchise "NBA 2K15."

The company has previously said it expects a profit in fiscal 2015 and "every year for the foreseeable future."

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Richard Chang)
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